The Grotesques Drawings are pure process. I start by marbling my own paper in the Turkish stone style. The colors and shapes produced are random and they dictate to me the images I will draw on them. I work directly in ink, without planning, so any mistakes must be worked into the composition. The rules are that I must draw the first thing I see. To me it is like looking for shapes in clouds: I articulate what I see in the paper by outlining it in ink and annotating the shapes with pattern, light, and shadow. This work is informed by a rigorous and direct study of Italian grotesques, best documented by Alessandra Zamperini. Grotesques are small surface frescoes within architecture, a capricious catalog of life, possessions, fairy tales, and monsters. Taking cues from this, my work confounds logical space and threads a narrative though uncanny juxtapositions. In it I explore places where, as Kristeva observes, symbolic meaning collapses.


Ellen Wetmore’s artworks inspire a blend of humor and horror. Wetmore’s projects have been featured in screenings at the Sandwell Arts Trust in the West Midlands, UK, Ciné Lumière in London, the Dorsky Gallery in Long Island, NY, Currents, Santa Fe, CologneOff, Cologne, Videoholica in Bulgaria, and the MIA screen in Cairo. Her most recent work is on the 80-foot tall 7-screen marquee at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. She is a 2012 School of the Museum of Fine Arts Traveling Fellow and a finalist for the Museum of Fine Arts Boston solo show award. In 2014 she was the subject of an exhibition at the Sarah Doyle Gallery of Brown University and in 2015 she was the subject of a solo show at Living Arts of Tulsa. She was a summer 2015 visiting artist at the American Academy of Rome and served as a juror for the video & dance festival InShadow of Lisbon. In 2016 she will be a resident at Signal Culture in Owego, New York. Her work can be found online at http://www.ellenwetmore.com, and on Vimeo. “Art is the mitigation of an atrocious world.” She lives in Groton, Massachusetts and is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

Learn more about the artist at www.ellenwetmore.com